Teenage Boy Sleeping in McDonald's Dumpster Killed When It Emptied

In a tragic accident, a 13-year-old Aboriginal South Australian boy was killed on May 11, when the contents of a dumpster he was sleeping in along with two other children were emptied into the belly of a garbage truck.

The victim was identified as Spencer Benbolt, while the other two children survived. However, Superintendent Paul Barr reported that they were profoundly traumatized by the experience, according to 9news.com.au.

The accident occurred in the small hours of the morning outside a McDonald's restaurant in Port Lincoln, a city in the state of South Australia.

By the time the driver of the truck was made aware of the children's presence, Benbolt, who often went by the nickname "Budda," had already been crushed to death, according to 7news.com.au. The driver of the truck was taken to the hospital and treated for shock.

This is part of Spencer’s family’s statement about their son, brother and cousin. The extended family gathered today to grieve together & to remember ‘Budda’. Thoughts are with them all, a tragedy for the whole community. @9NewsAdel pic.twitter.com/hS6HkdV8Tx

— Georgia Westgarth (@G_Westgarth) May 11, 2021

Benbolt was honored at a school ceremony in which teachers spoke about his talent for storytelling, his "lovely personality," and his tremendous sense of humor, regional education director Rowena Fox said, according to 9news.com.au. The campus's Aboriginal flag was lowered to half-mast in his honor.

Meanwhile, Benbolt's cousin, Montanah Elvey, remembered him as a "very strong child."

"He was a really good kid, tough, he's been through a lot," she said.

The incident has also shaken residents to a considerable degree, Port Lincoln Council CEO Matthew Morgan told 9news.com.au.

"There's no words that define what the community is going through at the moment," he said.

While the Port Lincoln council had no plans to revise its trash collection practices as of May 12, its members have expressed support for a police investigation into the circumstances surrounding the boy's death, Morgan said.

"Rather than looking at specific measures like locks on bins, we want to understand why they were there in the first place," Morgan said.

To that end, officers are conducting interviews with Benbolt's friends and family. The three children—boys aged 11, 12, and 13 respectively—were extremely close. They described themselves as friends who did everything together in an interview with 9news.com.au.

While the trio frequently ran away from home to sleep rough, South Australia Police Superintendent Paul Bahr said that he did not think "it would be fair to classify them as homeless" at a press conference, according to 7news.com.au.

In addition, a spokesperson for South Australia's Department for Child Protection said that the boy was not in the custody of the state, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

police car in Australia
Police in Tasmania. Australia - stock photo. In a truly tragic accident, a 13-year-old Aboriginal South Australian boy was killed on May 11, when the contents of a dumpster he was sleeping in along with two other children were emptied into the belly of a garbage truck. istock/Getty/ Ben185